The City of Oakland this week concluded its administrative investigation of the sex crime scandal involving over a dozen Oakland Police Department (OPD) officers, which led to the removal of three police chiefs in one week this year.
The city intends to terminate four police officers and suspend another seven officers without pay, according to Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth and Deputy Police Chief John Lois, who spoke at a City Hall news conference Wednesday afternoon.
“I am deeply sorry for the harm that this scandal has caused, particularly to community trust, which for many was already so tenuous,” said Mayor Schaaf.
The mayor and the city administrator said the proposed discipline marks the end of the city’s review of police misconduct involving an underage girl, known by the name of Celeste Guap.
Of the four officers who were fired, several have already resigned. Whether or not criminal charges will be filed against any of the officers is up to the office of District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, who is still investigating the case.
According to reports, Guap says she had sexual relations with two-dozen current and former officers in several Bay Area departments including 14 Oakland officers and investigators in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Guap, a resident of Richmond and the daughter of an Oakland police dispatcher, said she had sexual contact with at least three officers before she turned 18 last year.
The punishment of the 12 Oakland officers is not final until officers go through due process and grievance procedures, which includes an arbitration process that has frequently overturned or reduced police discipline.
Speakers at the press conference did not reveal the names of officers who were disciplined. State law prohibits the release of names of the officers and specific details of individual findings.
The four terminated officers were found to have committed one or more of a list of offenses, including attempted sexual assault, assisting in the crime of prostitution, engaging in lewd conduct in public and accessing law enforcement databases for personal gain.
“This was an exhaustive and expansive case,” according OPD Deputy Chief Lois, who headed the city’s investigation. He said the investigation involved hundreds of hours of interviews with 50 witnesses and 11 OPD interviews with Guap.
Over 78,000 pages of social media accounts and 28,000 text messages were reviewed by the investigative team, which was made up of five members of the OPD Internal Affairs Unit and two members of the City Attorney’s Office, he said.
Speaking after the news conference, civil rights attorney John Burris said the district attorney should bring charges against the officers.
“They should be prosecuted,” he said. “We are talking about men who are police officers having sex with a minor.”
Burris said, however, that he was “not optimistic” that charges will be fled, “since members of the district attorney’s office were involved.”
Referring to the mayor’s conduct during the investigation, Post publisher Paul Cobb said, “The mayor should also apologize for previously citing the race of Black officers for their alleged racist texts, while failing to cite the race of the officers who were allegedly involved with the statutory rape crimes.
“In addition, she is apparently attempting to unseat council members and punish those who were critical of her refusal to fund the Department of Race and Equity.”